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Author Topic: Why not try small cell?  (Read 18914 times)

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2015, 05:30:30 pm »
>The cell size has nothing to do with bees developing resistance, it is all about the bee.

I think the bees are building resistance in other ways over time, but that was not my experience.  On large cell with no treatments they all died.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessctheories.htm

Seeley's latest research points towards the resistant ferals being smaller...  interesting...
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Offline Jim 134

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2015, 08:56:46 pm »

Seeley's latest research points towards the resistant ferals being smaller...  interesting...


If you have ever been to Tom Seeley's seminars you will notice he does not focus on one thing why bees makes it in the wild.


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Offline little john

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2015, 03:55:40 pm »
Bees lived for thousands of years without foundation. Why not let them continue what works for them?

Because human beings are clever. They are always seeking to gain More and More from Less and Less - this paradigm being termed 'efficiency', which is considered by them to be a good thing.
 
And so we have bigger cells, bigger bees, bigger queens, bigger colonies, more and more honey, more and more money. It's always about "More and More" - always.

Unfortunately, although clever, human beings are sadly lacking in wisdom. Nature has established the 'norms' - in terms of cell size, colony size, and so on - over millions of years. These work, and have proven sustainable over that extended time-scale.

But we modern humans think we can improve on this. 'Improvement' meaning "More and More" of course, rather than staying with what has been proven to work over countless millennia.

The skeppists of the Middle Ages used to cull both their weakest, AND their strongest colonies - intuitively recognising that average performances are the one's to nurture for the long-term, not those which out-perform the others, for I presume they suspected that this increase in performance would have a hidden price-tag attached.

Selecting for the average, and not for the 'best' (undefined) - I wonder if such a reversal in thinking could ever be embraced ?

LJ
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2015, 09:28:43 pm »
I don't think I would cull out any. Natural selection will take care of that over winter on its own. But I do agree with the premise.
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Offline KeyLargoBees

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2015, 10:38:24 pm »
So riddle me this....if you allow a package or swarm of bees to build foundation-less will they regress to small cell over time or will the genetics of the bees dictate  the cell size?
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Offline OldMech

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2015, 11:32:34 am »
I have never had bees on natural foundation that did not regress given time.
   When you give them foundation less frames, they will build slightly smaller cells in the center of those frames. The problem then lies in the fact that you then USE those frames for three to five years, so thats where they stay. If you do not mind wasting wax, time and effort, both yours and the bees, the following year you can swap them onto new frames again, and you will find that they build even smaller cells near the center of each comb..  The cells will get a little larger as they go outward to the edges, but will usually not be as large as standard foundation, with the exception of the drone comb.
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2015, 01:08:11 pm »
What OldMech said.
The reason for this is that if you have large bees trying to build small cells. They do not build them any smaller than what they can get into to work and feed the larvae. So the first generation is a little bit smaller than the last because if they are well fed larvae, to a certain extent, they will grow to fill the cell.
We are trying to get small bees because small bees take less time to develop which helps to minimize the mite development. The original mite host was bees from Asia where they could only develop on the drones because of the longer development time.
Jim
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2015, 10:51:16 am »
>So riddle me this....if you allow a package or swarm of bees to build foundation-less will they regress to small cell over time or will the genetics of the bees dictate  the cell size?

Sort of.  It's not so much TIME as turnovers of comb.  In a few turnovers of comb, yes they will get back to natural size.  In one turnover of comb and 20 years to accumulate cocoons, they will also regress... but that's a lot of time.
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Offline deknow

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2015, 11:54:01 am »
If you have ever been to Tom Seeley's seminars you will notice he does not focus on one thing why bees makes it in the wild.

Jim, in this case, Seeley isn't the lead author....but this new study looking at how the bees from the Arnot forest have adapted to mites is interesting....it points towards bottleneckING of the population rather than an influx of resistance....and (even though seeley has done a rather poor study dismissing small cell as being ineffective), they note quite directly that in adaptimg to the mites, these feral bees got smaller.

Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #49 on: September 22, 2015, 08:57:28 pm »
>So riddle me this....if you allow a package or swarm of bees to build foundation-less will they regress to small cell over time or will the genetics of the bees dictate  the cell size?

Sort of.  It's not so much TIME as turnovers of comb.  In a few turnovers of comb, yes they will get back to natural size.  In one turnover of comb and 20 years to accumulate cocoons, they will also regress... but that's a lot of time.
That is why I like to continuously expand the brood nest. It also helps the bees fill horizontal hives.
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Offline Duane

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #50 on: September 23, 2015, 07:26:48 pm »
We are trying to get small bees because small bees take less time to develop which
It just occurred to me that with smaller cells, not only do you fit more brood in a given area, but shaving a day or two off each cycle results in more bees.  In a 21 brood cycle time frame, you'd have an extra one.  Not much in a season, but still...

I'm just thinking that back when the one who thought bigger bees was an advantage did not think through it well.  I would rather have two bees rather than one slightly larger bee.

And from what I've read, it's not small or large cell, it's "natural" cell rather than fixed cell.  I think some are not making that distinction in "proving" or "disproving" anything.

In the fall, I've come across where animals have torn out yellow jacket nests.  (Some right near where I walked that summer!)  I noticed they had a variety of varying cell sizes.  While hard to put the tore up nest in the exact order, I did not see anything to hint at a progressive seasonal pattern.  I can't help thinking there's a reason the wasps and bees have for different cell sizes.  We may not know them, but what we don't know could be hurting our bees. 

With the assumption that they use different cell sizes for different reasons or times, then it may follow that adding one or two empty frames in the middle may not be all that good.  It could upset the nest.  As I've read before, it may be better to start a whole box at a time.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2015, 01:18:44 pm »
>It just occurred to me that with smaller cells, not only do you fit more brood in a given area, but shaving a day or two off each cycle results in more bees.  In a 21 brood cycle time frame, you'd have an extra one.  Not much in a season, but still...

Let's do the math.  Assuming that a given number of bees can keep one box warm regardless of the number of frames (which would be consistent with my observation) then one eight frame medium box of eight large cell combs (4620 cells per frame) would be 36,960 cells which will emerge in 21 days making it about 1760 per day.  An eight frame medium box with narrow frames (9 frames) and small cell (5544 per frame) would be 49,896 cells which will emerge in 18 to 19 days making it 2772 per day.
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Offline Arnie

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #52 on: September 24, 2015, 04:40:24 pm »
I wonder how Fox Creek's bees are doing.

I have 2 hives out of 7 with small cell. Outside of the fact that they have been reluctant to draw out the comb, I see no difference. I will have to give them some time. Luckily, I have gotten a couple queens who appear to have some 'survivor' in them. I'll be raising daughters from them. Then I may take one of those off the OAV treatments and see how they do.


Offline Fox Creek

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2015, 10:19:58 pm »
    After about 5 years I developed 12 hives. Last fall I collected about 40 pounds of honey per hive. I thought, cool, maybe I can start thinking of sales next year! Side note. ( it was about this time I began loosing feeling in both hands. Aching numbness. )  In the spring I had a visitor, ........... Nope, not mites. .... A three hundred pound black bear. I observed the Bear's second visit from my bee yard shed. About 10 at night. I allowed him to finish his business as I considered this my fault for not putting up an electrical fence. I did not want to shoot this beautiful animal.  Unfortunately the bear decided to make my property his home. My Cattle dog actually stood between the bear and myself one night. I was very proud of her! Anyway, the bear came to my window one night too many. My dog alerted me of the danger and I went outside with my 30-30. I left the dog inside. I find the bear about 70 feet from the house. Its pitch black however I have a flashlight. I can't feel the riffle in my hands nor the trigger. Barrel balanced on the flashlight I shoot the bear from about 90 feet. I know I hit him cause he turned completely around. I fired a second round and the bear spun around again. With each shot the bear kept coming towards me. I fired a third round with the same results. I thought, F this. I ran back up to the house, threw a mag into my m1a. I stepped back out side and found the bear standing on his hind legs. He was looking around, probably for me. He gave me the perfect shot. Even with the numb hands and balanced barrel on the flashlight. I fired one round hitting him in the heart. Face down, the end. Not a happy story. I did notify Fish and Game. They wanted pictures of the bee yard and the bear. Because of where I live they asked me if I could dispose of the bear and I agreed. I now have a perfect bear skull in my shed.
    I never had a mite problem. Never used chemicals of any kind. Small cell was a success for me. Yes, you can call me a believer! Two surgeries later and I still have numb hands. 2015 has not been a very good year for me. I remain optimistic.  Not sure if I will try to rebuild my bee yard.   

Offline Arnie

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #54 on: October 19, 2015, 11:34:04 pm »
Sorry to hear of your troubles, Fox Creek.
I hope you can get the feeling back in your hands. Then maybe get some more bees. Good luck to you.
Thanks for the reply.

Offline Fox Creek

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #55 on: October 20, 2015, 09:30:12 am »
    No problem Arnie, I loved the experience. Bee keeping was both fun and interesting. I have learned so much. I do miss having the bees around. I also enjoyed this forum. Good luck to you too!

Offline Dallasbeek

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Re: Why not try small cell?
« Reply #56 on: October 21, 2015, 12:29:40 am »
Fox Creek, my wife is having some neuropathy, as well.  I really feel for you, brother.  Best of luck. 

Gary
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